question.jpgIn Personal Injury Law

Are property owners liable for the injuries of children or trespassers?

Property owners are not necessarily responsible for the injuries of trespassers and uninvited guests, because an owner has no duty of care and need not take reasonable care of his property or warn of hidden dangers. However, not all uninvited guests are trespassers - in some cases, they are licensees (such as a letter carrier) who have implied permission to be on the property.

Children are an exception to the trespassing rule; the law acknowledges that children often do not perceive danger as well as adults, and therefore a property owner must take steps to ensure the safety of children who play in the area, even if they are not supposed to be there. This is because of the attractive nuisance doctrine, which states that an owner must exercise reasonable care to prevent injury on his/her property that might arise from anything which may attract small children and is dangerous to them.